Summer in Austin means it’s time to find the BEST ice cream in Austin! Let’s be real…I eat it year-round in this city (because it’s occasionally really hot in December), but I’m especially keen on cold, creamy treats in the hot Austin summer months.
I grew up on Bluebell ice cream; my dad would keep a minimum of 4 half-gallon tubs in our outdoor freezer at all times, and he was always searching the ads in the mail for the “2 for $5 deal” to stock up.
Now that I’m living in Austin, I’m a big fan of all of the ice cream shops that source their ingredients locally, provide dairy-free options, and offer some of the most Instagrammable treats imaginable. (Like number 10 on my list…)
I’m pretty sure I never want to live a life without ice cream in it. Here’s a new updated list for 2019 of the Best Ice Cream Shops in Austin…including some vegan options!
The Best Ice Cream Shops in Austin 2019
1. Dolce Bacio Gelato Truck *VEGAN AVAILABLE*
If you want authentic Italian gelato in Austin, you must go check out the hidden truck in East Austin! It’s still relatively unknown to the tourists, but I have a feeling that’s going to change pretty soon because this stuff is LEGIT.
A sweet Italian couple moved to Austin to start their business here, and all of the gelato and sorbet flavors are made from scratch daily with real, fresh ingredients.
Here’s what totally wows me about this place: whether you’re ordering a milk-based gelato or a fruity vegan sorbet, the flavors are RICH! I mean, the pistachio ice cream legitimacy tastes like real pistachios (they don’t dilute it with almonds like most ice cream shops do), and the cantaloupe sorbet tastes like sweet, cold, juicy cantaloupe.
WEBSITE | 2207 E Cesar Chavez
2. Amy’s Ice Creams
Amy’s Ice Creams was my first ice cream shop to try in Austin. I was visiting a friend, and she took me here while we were walking near UT campus, and I fell in love and moved to Austin!
Amy’s is sort of like Austin’s version of Cold Stone Creamery – you pick a flavor and some mix-ins, and they put it on a cold slab of marble and mix in all the candy.
They have lots of fun flavors and mix-ins to try, but be sure to at least sample the Mexican Vanilla ice cream. It’s their best seller, and it tastes like cake batter!
WEBSITE | multiple locations
3. Sandy’s Hamburgers and Frozen Custard
Got to Sandy’s Hamburgers if you want to experience a true Austin classic restaurant. This little drive-thru burger, custard, and root beer stand has been in South Austin since the 1940s.
Sandy’s frozen custard is one of my favorites for a quick, cheap summer snack. Here’s a little tip: don’t attempt to eat the chocolate dipped custard in the car….you’ll just make a mess!
WEBSITE | 603 Barton Springs Rd
4. Lick Honest Ice Creams *VEGAN AVAILABLE*
Lick earned a spot on this list because their ice cream is made with the highest quality local ingredients they can find, and all of the Lick scoop shops have the friendliest employees who encourage you to try lots of samples!
If I had my way, I’d always keep 4-5 pints of this ice cream in my freezer at home. Lick’s approach to ice cream is simple: use the highest-quality local ingredients you can get, and the ice cream will be superb!
My favorite flavor is the Texas Sheet Cake, but Goat Cheese, Thyme, and Honey is a close second.
PS: their vegan flavors are SO good! Sometimes I even prefer them over the milk-based ones.
WEBSITE | multiple locations
5. Prohibition Creamery
Go to Prohibition Creamery for boozy ice cream and shakes!
Austin’s boozy ice cream shop has a cool, speakeasy feel to it with leather tufted seats, dark, wood floors, and a copper bar with low hanging lights. The ice cream and milkshakes are infused with alcohol, making for a unique combination of two of the best treats in life: booze and ice cream!
WEBSITE | 1407 E 7th St
Also see: the 20 must-visit restaurants in Austin
6. Dolce Neve Gelato *VEGAN AVAILABLE*
I should really be a part-owner of this shop by now. I mean, I’m kind of obsessed with it. I’m at Dolce Neve all. the. time.
It’s the cutest little gelato shop in Austin! Anytime I have guests in town, I bring them here. The small size is the perfect for a quick treat.
WEBSITE | 1713 South 1st Street
7. NadaMoo! *Vegan*
If you’re looking for the best 100% vegan ice cream shop in Austin, Austin company NadaMoo! wins in my book!
The South Lamar scoop shop dishes out their delicious coconut-based ice cream in dairy-free cones from The Konery in Brooklyn. My favorite flavor is birthday cake!
WEBSITE | 1701 S Lamar Blvd
8. Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs
Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs is a seasonal business, so you have to head here in the summer! Walk up to the booth, pick your size, flavors, and toppings, and enjoy the sweet, creamy, ice-y treat all summer long!
My favorite combo is coconut/pina colada/raspberry with cream on top. YUM.
WEBSITE | 808 E 51st St
9. Custard at Lou’s Bodega
Lou’s Bodega serves one flavor of custard (vanilla), but you can dress it up with toppings like pistachio brittle, sour cherries, salted caramel, and rainbow sprinkles.
This is a cute corner spot that’s fun to walk to if you’re visiting Austin and staying in an airbnb or boutique hotel in East Austin.
WEBSITE | 1900 E Cesar Chavez
10. Cold Cookie Company Food Truck
photo via Austin Food Magazine
Do it for the ‘gram! Oh my goodness….the cookie sandwiches “Unshakes” at Cold Cookie Company are MASSIVE, so plan on splitting one with a friend unless you want to go into a sugar coma!
The bright colors make this one of the most instagramable ice cream stops in Austin, but the ice cream/cookies are absolutely delicious, too!
WEBSITE | 2521 Rio Grande
11. SWEET RITUAL
Sweet Ritual is another fantastic vegan ice cream shop in Austin! (Gosh…we have a lot of dairy-free options in this town..)
Most of their ice creams are coconut or nutmilk based, so they have an irresistibly creamy texture.
The toppings are vegan as well, and they offer gluten free cones. If you have any dietary restrictions, Sweet Ritual is for you.
WEBSITE | 4631 Airport Blvd
Looking for more Austin restaurant ideas? Head to my Austin Index to run your own search by part of town, type of food, or time of day!